Nicole Andrews
The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program


Welcome to the New Year! Many of you at this time make resolutions and set goals for yourselves. Maybe it’s to de- home, or to eat healthier, or to lose a few extra pounds from all the Christmas baking. Often you are gung-ho to start the New Year off with your best foot forward and you have a ‘to-do list’ of your goals for the year.  You have the best intentions but that’s where it starts . . .  and ends.

The New Year is a great time to get all jazzed up about your goals but it is also a very emotional time. You’ve just finished Christmas and family and overwhelming deadlines and a social calendar you needed a personal assistant to help you navigate.

Depression is also much more evident at this time of year.  There is less natural sunlight and leaving in the morning in the dark and coming home in the dark plays on your natural sleep/wake (circadian rhythm).

There are also less local, accessible and affordable fresh fruits and vegetables that help keep your immune system functioning at its best. Which leads to the cold and flu season. We all know that it’s really hard to feel good when you are feeling sick!

Finally, there is the financial drain of the New Year. Annual dues for memberships, monthly bills, Christmas and travel and presents drained your bank account and if you are on Income Assistance, it’s a loooong month between cheques.

What if you started the New Year out thinking about yourself and realized that there is only one you! That you want the year to be amazing! The best ever! But that baby steps are O.K. That setting yourself up for success instead of failure in a few weeks is a better approach. What if you started small and took great pride in the accomplishment of a small goal realized?

So here is my suggestion to you: start small this New Year.

  • Step one; make a list of goals.
  • Step two; organize them into short-term and long term.
  • Step three; look at the ones that are really do-able within a week and start with those.

Start with simple, achievable steps. Maybe step one is getting a calendar this week to start getting more organized this year. Maybe it’s going to bed at 11 instead of midnight 2 nights this week so you can experience the feeling of what an extra hour of sleep at night really feels like. Maybe its trying to make sure that in each meal there is at least one fresh fruit or vegetable so that your body and brain are getting optimal fuel before you set your sights on loosing those extra pounds.

It’s a hard time of year, and being hard on yourself because you can’t meet your goals can turn a wonderful fresh start into a negative, depressing and unrealistic beginning to the year. Move slowly and set your sights on attainable goals. Celebrate your success and you will be your best advocate! You will feel good. You will feel accomplished! You will be motivated to tackle the next goal on your list. Celebrate you this year and all that you are.  You are many things to many people but you can be your biggest obstacle or your biggest advocate, motivator, and cheerleader.

I’m cheering for you!